The extensive hands-on training requirements mean that associate's degree programs in sports medicine cannot be offered fully online. Instead, students may choose to pursue fully online associate's degree programs in exercise science, with an emphasis in personal training.
Typically, only a few courses, mainly general education requirements, may be available through distance learning for sports medicine degrees. Sports management majors typically offer these courses. Students will need to report to campus to complete other courses as well as the required practicum in sports medicine.
In a sports medicine degree program, students learn to work with athletes to promote optimum performance as well as helping them prevent and recover from injuries. Coursework covers anatomy, human behavior and the science of movement. Students learn about physical conditioning, nutrition and injury prevention. They usually must complete a practicum working on campus with student athletes.
Associate's Degree in Sports Medicine
Coaches and athletic trainers work with athletes and individuals on proper nutrition and diet for an overall healthy lifestyle, mental preparation for participation in team or individual sports and physical conditioning for athletic competition. Students interested in the fields of sports medicine, sports psychology, coaching, athletic training or personal training will find an associate's degree in sports medicine a good foundation for their careers. A high school diploma is a prerequisite.
Although online degree programs in sports medicine are virtually non-existent, there are on-campus programs that offer some courses online. Associate's programs can usually be completed in two years. Typically, courses available online include some general education classes and some related to the sport medicine concentration. Students will need to complete other courses, such as a sports medicine practicum, on campus.
To access online content, students need a computer with Internet access. Materials are delivered by means of a course management system and online presentations. Communication is conducted by e-mail.
Some degree programs offer some basic core courses online that count towards an associate degree in sports medicine. Courses in sports medicine focus on healthy living, proper nutrition, athletic training and physical fitness.
Basics of English Composition
Students get a solid overview of different writing styles, such as expository, narrative and persuasive. Lectures, discussions and in-class writing assignments are part of the course. Students study examples of good writing to learn techniques for improving their own.
Overall Health and Wellness
This course gives a comprehensive overview of health and wellness and introduces students to the basics of weight training, exercise and fitness assessment. Topics of special interest include wellness, aging, drugs and alcohol, communicable diseases and sexuality.
Students look at nutrition from a scientific standpoint. Healthy food consumption, sickness as related to diet, physical energy, nutrient excesses and deficiencies, vitamins, minerals and food safety are all topics of special interest.
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reported an expected 21% growth in employment for athletic trainers from 2014-2024 and reported a median annual salary of $44,670 in 2015. Additional certification and further education may be required for employment as an athletic trainer.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates with an associate's degree in sports medicine often return to school to obtain a bachelor's degree in a sports medicine or related field.
Most states require that athletic trainers be licensed. This generally requires graduating from a degree program sanctioned by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education and passing a certification exam. There are several professional organizations that issue certification to athletic trainers.
Online programs in sports medicine typically follow a hybrid program; programs combine campus-based courses with an in-person practicum. Courses typically cover overall health topics, nutrition, as English composition.